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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Pinky's Gender Bender

So, on Monday, a few of the teachers had to take the sporting kids to a ‘practise’ athletics carnival. Some teachers (not the lethargic, non-physical, unco-ordinated Pinky), had to accompany our sports teacher to this event. These lithe and nimble teachers were mandated to offload their classes on to the less energetic types such as myself while they were away for the day.

I saw on my allocated list I was to be delegated eight extra students from a lower grade, Eight! Since I only had four of my own students scarpering off to the ‘practise’ carnival, I voiced my concerns to the teacher who’d flagrantly offloaded her kids on to me.

“Just shut up, Pinky!” she bellowed at me as she huffed off. “Deal with it, Princess!” 

When the forlorn urchins turned up at my door in the morning I noticed there were seven boys and one girl. My immediate thought was that it was a bit cruel to send just one girl, with no friend, amongst a bunch of testosterone fuelled, rambunctious lads.

My second thought was that the cow had sent me seven freakin boys.

Don’t get me wrong. I love boys. I gave birth to four of my own. But I know full well how much trouble they can be. They just have so much... vitality.

The first little boy entered the class in tears.

“Why on Earth are you crying?” I asked him. “Is it because you’re in my class instead of being with your grade three teacher?”

He nodded despondently, tears threatening to spill over onto the worksheets he clutched in his tiny hands as he stared up at the dragon grade four teacher.

“Don’t be scared of me!” I growled. “No one else is.” 

I directed him to the cheeky faces of my own class, grinning in confident self-importance at him from their seats.

The solitary, little girl walked in through the door, her brown ringlets bouncing and a nervous expression on her face. She was such a pretty little thing.

“You sit beside Sharleen, my darling,” I said to her. “What’s your name, precious?”

“Trevor,” she replied.

“Sorry? What was your name again?”


“Could you spell it for me, darling?” I asked, thinking it was most probably ‘Treavahh', or even 'Ptrevar' (with a silent P).

“T.R.E.V.O.R.” she said, her voice taking on an impatient air.

‘Strange name for a girl,’ I thought. ‘Oh well, takes all sorts I suppose.’

Anyway, I sat the seven extra boys up in the back row where they worked industriously on their assigned sheets. I only had to shoosh them a couple of times.

Little Trevor sat at the front, between two of my gentlest girls and thoroughly enjoyed her day, colouring in unicorns with the girl’s glitter pens and nattering and giggling away with them in muted tones. 

She was such a sweet little thing.

It wasn’t until today, when I was on duty outside the junior boys’ toilets and saw Trevor, walk out wiping his hands on his shorts, that I realised he was actually a boy.

According to his teacher, he’s usually the typical fractious, hormone driven, trouble making boy-boy.

And yet Trevor was such an angel in my classroom?

Did I just do a reverse gender-stereotyping thing?